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How can strong implementation tools enhance climate and energy governance?

Publishing date
11 September 2023
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The European Commission under Ursula von der Leyen has successfully pivoted the EU towards climate neutrality. With the Green Deal, the EU has set clear and ambitious climate targets and has put substantial legislation and funding in place to reach them. Nonetheless, we see clouds on the horizon of Europe’s green transition. 

EU decarbonisation is indeed set to become politically way more challenging, namely as it strongly deals with sectors such as transport and buildings. To safeguard the Green Deal in the coming years, the EU needs a much more solid energy and climate governance than it currently has. 

Five priorities for the next EU institutional cycle should include: 1) to progressively bring all emissions under an ETS and ensure the effectiveness of the EU climate policy. ETS and ETS-2 will cover 3/4 of EU emissions by 2030; 2) to launch preparations for an EU Green Investment Plan of €180 billion between 2024 and 2030; 3) to take energy and climate governance to heads of state and government level in order to increase policy coordination and political ownership – by establishing a group of European energy and climate sherpas; 4) to establish a European Energy Agency aimed at providing reliable and consistent data to underpin policy choices; 5) to create an Independent Network System Operator aimed at driving transmission network development and operation based on a principle of European cost minimisation. 

The EU cannot afford to have a grand climate and energy strategy and at the same time lack the implementation tools. This endangers the whole decarbonisation process, particularly in a less-auspicious political climate. These proposals can push a profound debate in this space ahead of the upcoming European elections.

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About the authors

  • Simone Tagliapietra

    Simone Tagliapietra is a Senior fellow at Bruegel. He is also a Professor of Energy, Climate and Environmental Policy at the Catholic University of Milan and at The Johns Hopkins University - School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe.

    His research focuses on the European Union climate and energy policy and on the political economy of global decarbonisation. With a record of numerous policy and scientific publications, also in leading journals such as Nature and Science, he is the author of Global Energy Fundamentals (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

    His columns and policy work are published and cited in leading international media such as the BBC, CNN, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Die Zeit, Corriere della Sera, and others.

    Simone also is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF). He holds a PhD in Institutions and Policies from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Born in the Dolomites in 1988, he speaks Italian, English and French.

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